in John 11 it says that when Jesus who was in Jerusalem and only two miles from Bethany heard Lazarus was sick he stayed two moe days before returning only to find Lazarus had been in the grave for 4 days. How can the time difference be explained
Thanks so much for this question. It got me researching, because I didn;t know how to reconcile the timing either. But I think I have an answer.
It took the messengers a day to get there with the message.
Jesus waited two more days.
Jesus told them that Lazarus had died (probably soon after the messengers left to tell Jesus of his illness)
It took them a day to get there (four days)
The following is taken from whatchristianswanttoknow.com
In John chapter eleven, Martha and Mary sent a messenger to Jesus to seek His help in healing Lazarus as he was gravely ill (v 3). After the messenger gave Jesus the message, Jesus waited two whole days before departing for Bethany (v 6). Since Jesus was omniscient, He knew that the delay would not cause Lazarus death since by the time the messenger got to Jesus (one day’s journey) Lazarus would have already been dead.
The interesting thing that he tells His disciples is that “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him” (v 10). The disciples thought that if he was sick, sleeping would be a good thing for him to help him recover from his illness, saying “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover” (v 12). Jesus had actually meant that he had died and so He plainly tells them that Lazarus is dead (v 14). Then, interestingly He says “…for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe” (v 15). This is when Thomas shows his loyal devotion to Lazarus as well as his pessimism as he told his fellow disciples and Jesus “Let us also go, that we may die with him” (v 16).
Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/jesus-raises-lazarus-bible-story-summary
I hope that this helps you.